Shaping Hawai’i; the Voices of Women is a reprint of Women’s Voices in Hawaii; Oral histories of the Islands’ first settlers, representatives of the nine different ethnic groups that make up Hawaii.
Sometimes when our elders tell us about the old days of Hawai’i, we hear a sugar-coated version. Joyce Chapman Lebra’s oral history of women, from turn-of-20th-century Hawai’i to the Second World War, lets the women tell it like it was.
Shaping Hawai’i: The Voices of Women is a world of picture brides, arranged marriages, oppressive labor conditions, abuse, filial duties, and the loss of family. Amidst all this, there was also a world of love and courtship, mutual aid societies, communal bread ovens, midwives, and willing sacrifice to educate children.